Cincinnati Music Festival this week features Snoop Dogg, Al Green, Jill Scott, Babyface and more

Thursday’s lineup celebrates 50 years of hip hop.

It’s the week of the Cincinnati Music Festival and events are happening throughout Cincinnati. The music festival itself runs for three days, July 20-22:


The lineup for the first night will celebrate 50 years of hip hop. Thursday night, concert-goers will be able to catch a lineup that will bring back memories: Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and Rakim.

Unlike the Cincinnati Music Festival’s other two nights, Thursday’s lineup will take the stage at the Andrew J. Brady Center at The Banks.


Friday’s concert will be at Paycor Stadium.

On Friday, the main stage lineup will be Gerald Albright, Midnight Star, Jodeci, Jill Scott and Al Green will take the stage as the headliner.


Saturday’s concert will also be at Paycor Stadium.

On Saturday, musical artists Normal Brown, Avery Sunshine, P-Funk Connection and Babyface will take the stage before Snoop Dogg ends the night.

What else is happening?

There’s a plethora of other activities happening in the days leading up to the Cincinnati Music Festival:

  • Returning this year, the fourth-annual CMF Outdoor Museum opened July 14. This year’s theme is “For All Life’s Beats: A Celebration of 50 Years in Hip Hop.” It’s an outdoor public art exhibition that features works from 10 artists of color who crafted their works while drawing from inspiration from the culture and music of hip hop. The works themselves were created live at Washington Park, but visitors to Cincinnati can still see them on display in the park before they move to a seasonal location at Court Street Plaza.
  • On Thursday, before the music kicks off, Big Daddy Kane headlines a panel on the activism of hip hop, followed by a screening of clips from the PBS documentary “Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World.” The panel will be held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center at 2 p.m. Thursday. Dr. Hasan Jeffries, who served as an advisor on the documentary, will also be present for the discussion. Jeffries is also an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, where he teaches courses on the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
  • Friday through Sunday, VIBE Cincinnati will present Cincy Soul, with musical acts on the Fifth Third Center Stage at Fountain Square.
  • Washington Park’s free weekly R&B series Friday Flow will host singer, songwriter and record producer Al B Sure on Friday from 7-10 p.m. at Washington Park’s main stage on the civic lawn.
  • Starting Wednesday, Court Street Plaza is hosting the Frisch’s Mobile Roller Rink. On Thursday, Metro’s Hip Hop StakeParty will happen from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., hosted by DJ Diamond playing tracks celebrating 50 years on hip hop. Friday will be a 70s-themed skate party and Saturday afternoon will be family-focused. Saturday night, the skate rink will host Neighborhood Night with a neighborhood DJ and food available from local food vendors.
  • Saturday at 11 a.m., four new stars will be unveiled at the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame. This year, the new interactive walk of fame will celebrate its grand opening at the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Music Festival has attracted big acts and bigger crowds to the Greater Cincinnati region since 1962. As one of the largest music festivals in the country, it attracts more than 90,000 each year and brings in around $107 million in economic impact for Cincinnati.

This year will be the second year the Cincinnati Music Festival kicks off as scheduled, after it was forced to cancel in both 2020 and 2021 for the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the festival sold more than 90,000 tickets and Jason Dunn, Visit Cincy’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion said organizers had anticipated 83,000 concert-goers would attend each night, based on high attendance from 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now, including for Thursday night. They can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or through the festival box office by calling (513) 924-0900.

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